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Citric Acid/Sodium Citrate Uses, Dosage & Side Effects

What is sodium citrate (alk) citric acid? What is it used for?

Sodium citrate/citric acid is used to make urine
less acidic and therefore prevent formation of kidney stones. Sodium
citrate/citric acid also is useful as a buffer and neutralizing agent for
gastric acid. Sodium citrate is broken down to sodium bicarbonate which
decreases the acidity of urine, increasing the excretion of substances that
cause kidney stones.

What brand names are available for sodium citrate (alk) citric acid?


Is sodium citrate (alk) citric acid available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for sodium citrate (alk) citric acid?


What are the side effects of sodium citrate (alk) citric acid?

Common side effects of sodium citrate/citric acid are nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and water retention.

It should not be used in patients with kidney failure.

What is the dosage for sodium citrate (alk) citric acid?

Systemic alkalization:

  • Adult: Take 2 to 6 teaspoons (10 to 30 ml) of liquid diluted in 1 to 3 ounces
    (30 to 90 ml) of water after meals and at bedtime, or as directed by doctor.
  • Pediatric: Take 1 to 3 teaspoons (5 to 15 ml) of liquid diluted in 1 to 3
    ounces (30 to 90 ml) of water after meals and at bedtime, or as directed by

Neutralizing buffer: Take 3 teaspoons (15 ml), diluted in 15 ml of water,
taken as single dose or as directed by doctor.

Safe and effective use of sodium citrate/citric acid is not established for
children under two years of age.


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Which drugs or supplements interact with sodium citrate (alk) citric acid?

: Sodium citrate/citric reduces stomach acidity, which
reduces the absorption and may decrease the effectiveness atazanavir (Reyataz),
ritonavir (Norvir), and indinavir (Crixivan), antibiotics like ciprofloxacin (Cipro),
moxifloxacin (Avelox), doxycycline (Vibramycin), tetracycline (Tetracon), and
antifungals like ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox).

Sodium citrate/citric acid reduces stomach acidity, which can lead to
increased digoxin (Lanoxin) absorption and possible digoxin side effects like
dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea,
irregular heart rate and rhythm, and
visual disturbances.

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Is sodium citrate (alk) citric acid safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not known whether sodium citrate/citric acid enters
breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing

What else should I know about sodium citrate (alk) citric acid?

What preparations of sodium citrate (alk) citric acid are available?

Sodium citrate/citric acid oral solution contains 500 mg of
sodium citrate dihydrate and 334 mg of citric acid monohydrate per 5 ml,
available in 16 fluid ounce bottles. Sodium citrate/citric acid is grape
flavored and sugar free liquid.

How should I keep sodium citrate (alk) citric acid stored?

Store sodium citrate/citric acid solution at room temperature
between 20 C and 25 C (68 F and 77 F). Keep container tightly closed. Keep from
excessive heat or freezing.

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